White Bluff native handles nutrition at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base


He grew up pitching for Creek Wood excessive’s baseball crew in Dickson County, however Lt. D. Chase Williams now directs vitamin at one of many U.S. army’s most infamous bases

He works on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, residence to the well-known detention camp President Bush opened in 2002 as a part of the publish Sep 11 War on Terror.

But Lt. D. Chase Williams, chief dietitian/nutritionist for the bottom, will not touch upon whether or not he has something to do with the 38 remaining detainees.

“I’m simply not ready to enter that,” Williams mentioned with a pleasant tone.

It’s fascinating {that a} boy from White Bluff, Tennessee who was a star participant on the Creek Wood highschool baseball crew in Dickson County, grew as much as be a frontrunner at one of the crucial storied army bases on the earth. 

In addition to real-world controversies on the bottom, the 1992 blockbuster film “A Few Good Men” — starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson — was set there.

But Williams, 36, by no means meant to be stationed at Guantanamo Bay. He by no means got down to be a dietitian. 

Williams wasn’t actually positive he needed to be within the army. But almost 2 many years later, that is the place he is flourishing, and lately was named the Navy’s Top Registered Dietitian of the Year.

Williams talked with The Tennessean about army life on the Caribbean’s largest island, why he turned a nutritionist and why he nonetheless visits his outdated highschool baseball coach in Dickson County.

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‘He noticed one thing totally different in me’

Williams was born to a teenaged couple, Donald and Vicki Williams, who raised their solely youngster in a cellular residence, usually struggling financially. Williams mentioned he remembers transferring to a home in his teen years, when his dad’s firm, Williams Logging, began to flourish.

Williams was a part of the primary class at Creek Wood High School in close by Charlotte, Tennessee, the place he turned a participant for the primary Creek Wood Red Hawks baseball crew.

Coach Chris Clapper nonetheless serves as a mentor after turning into an early believer of Williams’ management talents.

“He noticed one thing totally different in me,” Williams mentioned. “He might see my want to develop. He put plenty of effort into rising me.”

During annual journeys to go to his dad and mom in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, Williams normally sees Clapper.

Working in the identical clinic day after day? Nah

Williams mentioned he joined the Navy as a result of he did not actually know what he needed to do — however he knew it wasn’t faculty.

He liked planes, so Williams began as an aviation mechanic shortly after beginning primary coaching in late 2003, engaged on F-14 and F-18 jets. After that, he labored aboard the USS Wasp plane service, the place the ex-high faculty athlete determined to get in higher form.

Williams packed on 40 kilos of muscle, going from 160 to 200 kilos briefly order. As a part of that effort, he began studying about vitamin, and that launched a brand new profession for him.

“I assumed it was fascinating, the distinction vitamin could make, for efficiency and for individuals with coronary heart illness, diabetes, different power illnesses,” he mentioned.

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Williams left the Navy lengthy sufficient to go to MTSU, get a bachelor’s diploma and get licensed as a registered dietitian in 2012. That put him at one other crossroads.

“A clinic day in an time out? I couldn’t see myself doing that for 40 years,” he mentioned. “But I remembered that no day was the identical within the Navy.”

Williams was again in as a lieutenant a 12 months later.

Gitmo

After getting married in 2015 and having a child just a few years later, Williams and household transferred to Gitmo, a group of about 5,500 residents, the place a Subway and McDonald’s are the one indicators of residence.

Williams chooses meals for the bottom hospital and different eating amenities, normally lean proteins, fruits, greens and complete grains. But it isn’t straightforward getting contemporary fruit on a Caribbean island, Williams mentioned, noting that almost all provides come from the United States, generally weeks alter they’re ordered. 

“We get plenty of spoiled stuff,” he mentioned.

Off-duty life is much like many army compounds. Most socializing occurs on the one large retailer on base.

Military members cannot depart the bottom, however there may be snorkeling, scuba diving and boating accessible on the rock-filled seashores. The temperature by no means will get under 75, so these actions are 12 months spherical. And there are two film theaters, one indoors and one exterior.

But neither has performed “A Few Good Men.” Not but, anyway.

Reach Brad Schmitt at [email protected] or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/dickson/2022/03/22/white-bluff-native-handles-nutrition-guantanamo-bay-naval-base/9367254002/

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